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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Burlington has a connection with Apeldoorn, a City in the Netherlands.

 Burlington, Ontario, Canada and Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.Twin Cities.

                                  Canadian flag.

                                Dutch flag.

We live in Burlington, Ontario, Canada and we love it here.A couple of month ago I wrote on my blog that we have a twin City in the Netherlands and the City is Apeldoorn.
Burlington is a beautiful City. History is all around us, every day of our lives. It is in the names of the the way we earn our living.....and the traditions we carry down from one generation to the next. It's important to be familiar with history, especially within our own.... It should be an ongoing story..... we should understand where we have come from, that's how you begin to understand how you came to be who you are today.

Earlier this summer, the City of Burlington was approached by members of the Mundialization Committee with a request to formally change the name of the park on Elgin Street to Apeldoorn Park in honor of our twin City in the Netherlands.Council agreed to have community consultation in the form of an online survey that was posted on the city's website. The results are now in: and Burlington residents are in favor of changing the name of Elgin Park to Apeldoorn Park.

On April 17, 1945, Canadian soldiers liberated the City of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Subsequently, Apeldoorn held massive parades every five years to honor its Canadian heroes. In 2005, Burlington and Apeldoorn formally celebrated that bond by becoming twinned Cities.

In 2007, City Council agreed to a program where Burlington would design a park named for Apeldoorn and Apeldoorn would do the same for Burlington.

Elgin Park in Burlington, was identified as the ideal location to carry the Apeldoorn name. The park was slated for redevelopment, and had since been redesigned in consultation with City officials in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

                    Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, our twin City.

This is Canada lane, a street in Apeldoorn,the Netherlands.

This tree was planted on December 29 1945 by Lieutenant-General G.G.Simonds, commander of the second Canadian Army Corps, which liberated the Netherlands.

This is the text on a plaque, which is situated at the Loolane, near the "Grote Kerk" . It is one of the remembrance of the liberation of Apeldoorn  by the Canadians.
The planting of the tree (ofcourse it was a Canadian Maple) was also 'birth' of the Canada lane (former Maria lane), which starts at this point.

Another one is the monument "Man with two hats".

Mysterious figure,which seems to be waving both hands with a hat in each one.This is a monument to mark the 55th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands and to serve as a lasting reminder of the role of Canadian soldiers in securing that Freedom. The monument symbolizes the historic bond between Canada and the Netherlands.

In November an annual memorial takes place around the monument, in Apeldoorn to honor the 7000 Canadian war victims during the liberation of the Netherlands. In 2005 a special plaque, a gift of the Canadian Government General Adrienne Clarkson, was unveiled.

                                  The special plaque.

                                  Thank you Canada!

The monument is situated nearby the entrance of "Het Loo Palace".

In Ottawa two years after the unveiling of the original monument (with the same name)as in the town of Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, this monument was unveiled in 2002 , by Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. This statue is a copy of the Dutch one, a gift of the Netherlands as a big Thank You for the role of the Canadian soldiers in the liberation of their country. It is now the National Monument to the Canadian Liberators. You could also call the monument 'The Man with Two Faces' On one side he is abundantly waving with a hat in each hand and on the other side he is quite melancholic and it seems like there are teardrops in his eyes.
This is a copy of the statue, a gift from the Netherlands as a Thank You.

 This plaque was presented to Canada and sits at the foot of the statue in Ottawa.

In Apeldoorn is a beautiful park, which is called Resistance park . May 2010 Mayor de Graaf of Apeldoorn unveiled a monument in honor of fourteen resistance fighters, who were active in Apeldoorn during World War 2 and engaged in sabotage, attacks and forgery of documents. Some of them were arrested and executed, others died in German camps.
The names of these fighters are engraved in fourteen granite stones, which have a plosihed surface with the name of each of these resistance fighters; a simple but impressive monument. In June 2011 three more names-and stones- were added and now there are seventeen stones in this monument. With this monument the park became a real 'resistance fighters park'
                        Monument of Resistance-Fighters-Park in Apeldoorn.

Seventeen granite stones, each with the resistance fighters name engraved. They died so we could live.They gave their life so we could live in peace!

                                         LEST WE FORGET!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Japan a country with no recollection of their past.

Let me begin this story about Japan with the famous saying from George Santayana.
George Santayana reminds us that the lessons of history are invaluable: "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it."
This is a really valuable lesson and Japan should learn from this.Japan has forgotten a lot of their past. Have they?????
Let me remind Japan:

Japan you surrendered unconditionally after WW11. Since then Japan has been very quiet and gentle.
This year however, they are very assertive and promoting nationalism.

Japan has a dispute with China and Taiwan.
Japan has a dispute with South Korea.
Japan has a dispute with Vietnam.
Japan has a dispute with Russia in the North.
Japan has a dispute with the Phillippines and Brunei in the South.
It seems like the very quiet and gentle Japan can't get along with its neighbors.
To top it off, Japan want to host the Olympics as a friendly nation????

I can go on and on.Now Japan wants to claim the Diaoyu island.
Japan; according to international law,the Diaoyu island was already been returned to China at the end of WW11. The Japanese government accepted the terms of these documents including one saying" that all territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese, such as Manehuria, Formosa (as Taiwan was called before 1945), the Pescadores (or Penghu Islands), shall be restored to the Republic of China."Did you forget, you.. Japan started the war, did you forget you lost the war?? How much more do you like to forget???
Facts are facts, and history is not to be reversed. Japan is in outright denial, which Japan is very good at.You.. Japan signed the Peace Treaty in San Francisco in 1951, which was signed by Japan and the Allied Powers. Japan you signed an agreement to renounce all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Paracel islands.A separate peace treaty was signed in 1952 by Japan and the Republic of China declared that all agreements made between Japan and China before 1941 were null and void.It's perfectly clear,and logical as stated above,to conclude that the Diaoyu islands, being part of Taiwan territories have been returned to China.
Japan has forgotten that China was one of the Victors of  world war 11. Needless to say about the naked aggression and occupation by any external force, they already underwent the very long bitterness from the 19th Century till round WW2 period.Japan likes to forget all that! Like they like to forget that they wanted to free Asian of all Westerners.The atrocities Japan inflicted in World War 11, we the people (the Dutch from the Dutch East Indies) the English, the Australians,the Canadians and all Asian countries and China may forgive but never forget.
Today's generation of Japanese may claim they've nothing to do with their predecessors brutalities, but what are they doing toward the revisionists versions of the history about their fascist regime?What about their public officials (cabinet ministers or even premier) paying homage to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including some convicted of major war crimes, like General Hideki Tojo, the Japanese Prime wartime prime minister, who was hanged as a war criminal after world war 2. His granddaughter Yuko Tojo born in 1939 is a nationalist activist and was a political hopeful in 2007.She pledges to realize the enshrinement of all Japan's military war dead, to include war criminals whose innocent she maintains, at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. Her grandfather is one of the 14 class-A war criminals honored at the Shrine.She claims the war was one of self defense, she says: "Japan did not fight a war of aggression, it fought in self-defense.It was her grandfather General Hideki Tojo and their Emperor Hirohito( the biggest war-criminal of all times,he was worse then Hittler) ,who mastered the plan to attack Pearl Harbor.They attacked and bombed and killed thousands of Americans without provocation. Japans biggest mistake in history. And of course, occupying one's loot of the past. How is it possible that Japan so quickly recovered after the war? It was from stolen goods, Japan had hidden, during the war.Now you are crying wolf about peace, while explicit supporting those acts.....What do you expect China and those who suffered under the occupancy of Japan, feel and react???? It is quite easy to preach 'forget',forgive',peace', when you are not the victims and instead belong to the invader, and proudly holding the loot of the past.....

She claims there are no criminals in Japan. I think Yuko Tojo you are just as bad as your lovely grandfather and your government. Yes you people are very good in glorifying your past and denial is on top of your list.
Yuko Tojo you supported a movie production by a Japanese filmmaker Satoru Mizushima, that claims the 1937 Nanking Massacre was a complete fabrication by China and the West in a propaganda war against Japan.Your grand father taught you well.

Your grand father was a coward, who tried to commit suicide after the war, when he was convicted of all his war crimes.His attempt failed. He lived. He underwent surgery in a US army hospital. After recovering from his injuries Tojo was moved to Sugamo prison. While there he received a new set of dentures made by an American dentist. Why the hell did he needed new dentures, he was going to be hanged for all his war atrocities. He needed no new dentures, where he was going. But the American dentist secretly drilled the phrase "Remember Pearl Harbor" into the teeth in Morso code.Hideki Tojo, Japans Prime Minister from 1941-44 is widely remembered as a warmonger, who was behind Tokyo's invasions of its Asian and Pacific neighbors.It was Tojo who also ordered the Pearl Harbor attack that killed 2388 American troops and brought the US into World War !!.

My mother and I and her sister and her two children were in Japanese prison camps in Moetilan and Banjoebiroe 10, in the Dutch Indies on Java. My mother and her sister were raped by your military, and after the war carried the scars for the rest of their lives.

Thousands of innocent women and children suffered under Japan's occupancy.As many as 15 a day died in their camp, from starvation and beatings. You tell me that did not happen? My father died a terrible death, building a railway through the jungle as a prisoner of war. He was only 26 years old.Everywhere in the jungle the grave-yards made their appearance, until when the railway was completed at the end of October 1943, thousands of bodies lay in the jungle from one end of the railway to the other. My father was one of them.He died of starvation, dehydration, exhaustion, daily beatings and dysentery.It's been 69 years since he died a terrible death on that railroad track.It was September 18,1943.His friend unbelievable survived and was able to tell all.

You Yuko Tojo think that they made these stories up.Well let me tell you, World War 11 is one topic which make ordinary Japanese cringe- they are so burden by it. And- Japanese nationalists like you (Yuko Tojo) realized it too, but rather choose to justify Japan's militarism as away to lift that shame off the people. Any average Japanese person is not aware of the 100.000 Dutch civilians hold captive by the Imperial Japanese Army in the South Pacific.

Japan destroyed all their records of world war 11. Not many photographs were being taken of the death camps in the Dutch East Indies when the victims were found.
Japan keeps denying their atrocities inflicted on Human beings during the War. They keep denying about the abductions of Dutch boys (not older then 10 years old). These boys were forcible taken from their mothers who protested vehemently. Many of these young boys died, the one who survived lost their youth and had difficulties adjusting to normal life.
Japan when are you going to take this blame and when are you going to remove this shame??
Soon there won't be any survivors, we are getting old, but our children and their children, etc.. will keep this history alive, because it should never be forgotten.

On March 27,2012 a U.S. congressional panel advanced a bill that would severely punish countries for not addressing child abductions. The penalties include calling off cultural or scientific exchanges, or denying export licenses to countries that do not promptly seek to resolve abduction cases. When these measures become U.S. law it would be followed by many other countries, and would significantly embarrass Japan. Japan has a poor record on child abductions stemming from the mass abduction Dutch boys of 10 years and older in the Netherlands East-Indies during the occupation, but also from the mixed Japanese-American partnerships of today.Japan when are you rectify the violation of human rights during World War Two by the Japanese military???

Japan you like to host the next Olympics?????  You don't deserve it.

General Eisenhower warned us. He said:" It is a matter of history that when the supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the Nazi death camps in Europe, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.
He did this because he said in words to this effect:'Get it all on record now- get the films- get the witnesses- because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.'

It is now more than 65 years  after the second world war in Europe and the Pacific ended. We got to keep the memory alive.
The memory of the thousands and thousands of innocent women, children and men who were murdered, raped, beheaded, starved, beat, experimented on and humiliated'
                                  POWs , slaves of the Japanese.

Now more than ever, with Iran among others, claiming these Holocausts to be 'a myth' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

They gave their lives so we could live. Lest we forget!

How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center, will be said;

In memory of my mother Sietske.

For my mother:

I miss you when I look up in the sky,
and see the clouds going by.
Then I think about you with so much love
and wonder how it is there up- above.
So many memories from the past
So many questions still to ask.
I miss you, here on earth
I miss you, and it hurt.
I would like so badly have you here
and be your daughter and have you near.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

My mother in law, Jopie Bisenberger.

April 10,1915-April 25,2012
This picture was taken on her birthday April 10,2012. Always had a smile and a twinkle in her eyes.She loved flowers and her room had almost always about four vases of fresh cut flowers.She loved colors, the more colorful the bouquet of flowers was, the happier she would be.

I am trying to write a few lines on my blog. It has been very hectic the last few days. Sad to write down that we had to say goodbye to my mother in law. On April 23 we got a call from my sister in law that mother Jopie was not doing so well. We had tickets to fly out for the 27 and immediately were on the phone to change our tickets. We flew out the next day April 24 and arrived the following morning at six thirty.At seven thirty that day we were at her bed side. We believe that she was aware that we were there.At twelve forty that same day she passed away very peacefully.My mother in law had just celebrated her 97 birthday on April 10.How fortunate we have been, to have her for that long.
My sister in law Carla told us that lately mom had been very confused. Carla went to see her twice a day and she had never seen her mother so busy. She would talk and talk. Most of the talking did not make sense. Everything was totally mixed up. It was like she had stored all her memories and threw them in a mixer.
She went very peaceful, and we her children are very grateful she did not have to suffer.Ninety seven is a wonderful age.
We know she is at peace and we hope she is having fun with her sisters.She believed that she would meet her sisters again, and they would be sitting on a cloud and smile at us down below.We will miss you, and it will be strange not to see you sitting in front of the window, waving the sheers up and down.You will always be remembered, specially because you were always so optimistic. You never complained. For the five years she was in the old age home she had one wish. A large Blue spruce was blocking her view, it was a very large spruce, and every day when we would come to visit her, she would say: "If only we could make that tree disappear." We would always fantasize how we could do it."Look at it": she would say:"even the birds are not sitting in it, because this tree has spikes and the damn thing is blocking my view."
Well mamma Jopie you can now look from above and you will be able to look over the tree.I can hear you say already when you are floating on your cloud over the tree, "Look at that damn tree, it's still there."
You will always be remembered.We love you.

On the 29th of April of the year 2012 we had to say goodby to our dear, strong, exceptional mother, mother in law, Oma and great grand mother. 
                                                     Johanna Maria Kromhout
                                                     ex-wife of Joop Bisenberger 

Carla my sister in law gave a beautiful speech. Here follows the translation:

Dear All,

It's so nice to see you all here, and to say goodbye to our mother, mother in law, and Oma.
First of all you all have to know that Mom organized her funeral almost all by herself, when she was still living at the Vondellaan. The music, the picture on the card, the saying on the card 'ex-wife of Joop Bisenberger. She also picked out the chocolate in the form of a coffin with the thank you tag on it, which had to be handed out after the funeral. (she had a sense of humor). She also wished that her sons, son in law and grandsons, would carry the coffin to her final resting place... in the letter she wrote;" only if they have no back problems".

Thus we thought that it would be better if we would drive her to her last resting place, we think she would agree.

Well that's it, 97 years old. Unbelievable, tough as leather., and so many things happened in such a long life.
Three sisters. Johanna Maria, Trijntje and Hendrika. Two weeks after Hendrika was born, Trijntje passed away, only just a little over one year old. Terrible for Oma and Opa her parents such a tragedy, which she could feel in spite of her young age. Specially when she got older she spoke many times about it.
She always said that she was born on a Friday, because on that day hard working people get born. On a early age she already had a paper route and right away after finishing public school she had to  work and clean houses as a cleaning lady, for very little money. One skirt and one blouse, that's all she had, wash by hand one day and wear it the next day again, dry or not.
Our mother was courting our father when they were members of a Youth Organization.A club for "Red"political republic party of young boys. Opa Kromhout was dead against this boy she was in love with. Oma our grandmother did not like the boy either, and made life of our mother not easy.
They got married anyway and had two sons, Adriaan and Ruud. They divorced in 1943. 
They started seeing each other again ( that's how I will call it) and were forced to get married again because our mother was pregnant with me (Carla). I am so called from the second marriage of our Mother and Father. Strange, a little peculiar, but I am glad that's the way I entered this world.
In the meantime 'OP HOOP VAN ZEGEN'  a company for actors was founded, to the delight of our mother. Many times our mother was given the leading part. We heard that she was very good. Once a year (this was her holiday) she attended a school for actors for a week. They received acting lessons from professional actors, such as the parents from the now well known Rutger Hauer. She also got to know the actor Henk van Ulsen very well.
Our mother had something with Mayor's. One time when she attended these acting lessons, they were invited at the town hall in Velp. (a town in the Netherlands). When they entered the Town Hall her high heels became stuck in a grating. She struggled to keep herself from falling and tried to steady herself to a man who stood next to her and took hold of a chain which hung on the man's neck, needless to say this was the Mayor of this town and the chain broke. A very embarrassing moment, and later when this story was told, it was hilarious.
Another Mayor's story was when she had to retire as an acting member of Op Hoop van Zegen. A reception was organized in honor of her years as an acting member of Op Hoop van Zegen. A couple of times in her acting career she was asked to take the part of one of the actors who had become ill from other companies.She had to go to another city where she did not know any of these actors. No time for practice, just jump on stage. (how scary is that?) but she did it. After the performance, quickly catch the last bus home. The press and the public was impressed with her performing. 
From that performance one admirer kept coming to all her performances.She never saw him, but through others he made sure she received his compliments and his greetings.. Say to her they are from Willem" ( That had been his name in the role she had taken over from the actress who was sick, awhile ago). He always left quickly after the performance was over on his motorized bicycle back to Haarlem.
And then there was the reception of her saying farewell to her career as an actor. And there was Willem. She jumped off her chair and spontaneous put her arms around his neck, gave him a big kiss on both cheeks and said:" How nice of you to come. How is everybody at home? Did you come on your motorized bicycle?" she took him to a table and said to him:" Give me a moment, I will come and talk to you", because in the meantime more people had come in.
But Willem had left after a half hour before she noticed.
When the reporter of the local newspaper asked her if the Mayor or anybody else from the municipality had been she answered :" No, I did not see anybody from the municipality". The Master of  Ceremonies looked at her very surprised and asked her: "And who do you think the man was which you greeted and put your arms around his neck and you kissed him as if your life depended on it, and who was this man you pushed to a table and again put your arms around his neck and told him that you would sit with him as soon as you got a change?" Yes you understand, it was not Willem it was the Mayor.
It gave her lots of grief that she had to stop acting because of her health.
In 1970 her youngest son Ruud left for Canada with his wife and her two grandchildren. It was hard on her and five years later her oldest son Aad left for Canada as well. The one plus point was that she had an opportunity to go to Canada and also she went to Jamaica when Ruud and Thea lived and worked there.
The last years of her life being in an old age home were not easy for her. Specially that large blue spruce (she called it a tree with barb wire) where no bird would sit in and blocked her view,this tree was an unbelievable annoyance for her, on top of it she said ;" to top it off  it does not lose it's leaves in the winter". It was all she talked about, the' tree' which took her view away. Why was it that we could not chop it down for her, why is that not possible?
On the other hand she had no intentions to leave this world she always said:" There will be time enough to lay in my coffin".
And so this day finally came for her, and mom here you are, ready to step in that limousine to take you away. You did well. We are very proud of you and we will never forget you and we will always talk about the things you always told us.
We love you!  
My sister in law Carla with her mom. May 2011.
Ruud and his mom. May 2011.


Rest in Peace.

                   You are finally with your sisters. They are resting next to you.
Trijntje and Hendrika


This poem is for you:

We can cry and cry, because you are gone,
Or we can laugh because you lived.
We can close our eyes and wished you would come back,
Or we can open our eyes and see what you left behind.

Our hearts are empty, because we can't see you
Or we can be full of love of all the things you shared.
We can turn our backs and try to live in the past,
Or we can be happy for tomorrow, just because of yesterday.

We can in our memories only think that you are gone,
Or we can remember you, and let you live on.
We can cry, close the door, be empty and turn our backs
Or we can do, what you would like:
Laugh, open our eyes, love one another and just go on!
Because Mom, you left something beautiful behind
And that is us! Your children!

The source of all human love is the mother.

Mother in law Jopie who loved life,was always optimistic,always had a twinkle in her eyes, could tell a story like no one else, drove in her scoot mobile like a race car driver, was called in her town after the race car driver Sterling Moss, was an excellent actress,loved to have fun, did not like to miss a thing, had still too many thing to do here on earth. We will miss you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

For Elizabeth van Kampen


                              Elizabeth and me in front of the Japanese Embassy.
Elizabeth van Kampen is a dear friend of mine. Although I only met her about 4 years ago. I stumbled upon a story she wrote about the Dutch East Indies and read to my surprise that she had been in the same Japanese Prison Camp as my mother and me in Banjoebiroe 10. on the island of Java during World War 2.
Since then I have met a couple of times with Elizabeth van Kampen in The Hague, while we were demonstrating in front of the Japanese Embassy.Elizabeth at the time was 17 years old when she her mother and two sisters were put in that horrible camp as prisoners of the Japanese.
Elizabeth now has reached the age of 85 and she is a remarkable women. Every second Tuesday of the month, she travels by train from Limburg to The Hague to attend the demonstration. I have so much respect for you Elizabeth and thank you again for the story you told the world on your blog.
I came upon this poem and I love it. I am sure you like it too.

The Good Lord has a sense of humor! I hope!
 by: Anon

Today dear Lord I am 80, and there's much I have not done.
I hope Dear Lord you will let me live until I am 81.
But then, if I have not finished all I want to do,
Would you let me stay a while until I am 82?
So many places I want to go, so very much to see,
Do you think that you could manage to make it 83?
The world is changing very fast, there's such a lot in store,
I would like it very much to live until I am 84.
And if by then I am still alive, I'd like to stay until I am 85.
More planes will fill the air, so I'd really like to stick
And see what is going on in the world when I turn 86.
Oh dear Lord it is much to ask, and it must be nice in Heaven,
But I really like to stay around until I am 87.
I know by then I won't be fast, and some times I will be late,
But it would be pleasant to be around at 88.
I will have seen so many things, and had a lovely time,
I am sure I would be willing to leave, at the age of 89 (maybe?)
Dear Lord, thank you kindly, I have one more thing to say,
If it's OK with you, 90 plus would really make my day.

A Doctor Hummingbird, a picture we took at our house in Jamaica. It has a very long tail, and they are beautiful to watch.
                                          See how long the tail is.

The front of our house in Jamaica. Bougainvillea in full bloom.
The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.

To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.

The surprising thing about young fools is,
how many survive to become old fools.

About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.

I love this one too:

Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.

There is no old age. There is, as there always was, just you!

The deepest definition of youth is life as jet untouched by tragedy.

Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does, except wrinkles. It's true, some whines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.

I am very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. Don't complain about growing old, many people do not have that privilege.

Aging is not lost youth,but a new stage of opportunity and strength.

The great secret that old people share is that you really have not changed in 70 or 80 years. Your body changes, but you do not change at all.

You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.
Elizabeth I hope you enjoy these, and I wish you a long and healthy life.

Our monthly demonstration. Petition 214.

Today under a grey sky and wet grounds the monthly demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy took place again.Petition 214, "Silence of consent", was delivered to the Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

                                           NGO,Status Roster

His Excellency Yoshihiko Noda
Prime Minister of Japan

The Hague, September 11,2012.
Subject: Silence lends consent


It appears that the proverb "Silence lends consent" is applicable to Japan in  respect of our desire to aim for an honorable solution. After more than 200 petitions, suggesting that we should get together in order to resolve our difference of opinion, there is a deafening silence and no movement on Japan's part.Let us try to move. The window of opportunity is there. Opening that window would improve Japan's international position greatly.

Prime Minister,
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts is established as a nongovernmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 1996. As such it has the opportunity to question Japan's status on Human Rights at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. In the Universal Periodic Review we have urged the Human Rights Council to advise Japan to come forward with an honorable settlement of its moral obligations.

Prime Minister,
The Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts indicated many times over that it is prepared to establish an honorable settlement which for both Japan and the Foundation is final. Thus ensuring that events of the past does not burden Japan's youth nor the children of our members. A very generous suggestion on behalf of the members of the Foundation, as the traumas caused by the Japanese military contimue to trouble them severely.

We strongly recommend that you as a nation do not remain silent as the proverb "silence lends consent" suggests.

 On behalf of the Foundation of Japanese Honorary Debts,

J.F. van Wagtendonk


I have a definition for Silence and I had to write them down,

Sure steps towards a Silent Mind:

One maxim of self development; I sense is true, is that the way out of any stressful situation is to "go through it."
Silence can "see" a troubled thought for what it is in reality.
A Silent Mind, requires nothing more than to just deal with it, once the discovery is made, and taken care of, it will fade away.
A Silent Mind cannot resolve the problems and it cannot escape it. If left unattended, it becomes a machine that constructs a false self.
Japan what do you exactly gain by practicing Silence? This Silence cannot be helpful to practice the truth. Your silence over the last 67 years lends to integrity to speech.
Break your Silence it will play an important role in helping Japan and it will show that Japan has a Heart.

Our hearts were broken 67 years ago, please repair our hearts.Make our tears go away and change our tears into hearts.What is so difficult about that?

Remember the song from Bob Marley. 
One Love, One Heart, Lets get together and feel all right. Its about, hear the children crying, etc.

This song expressed by all people for all people, regardless of race, creed or color.

For our mothers, fathers and sons, their sacrifice of life.

Their time was passed in living hell
With no food to eat
No shoes upon their feet
No chance for freedom dear
Only the guarantee of death
Which hovered ever near
With captors brutal all around and one breath at a time
They left their stamp on history, with bravery so sublime.

History is like a haze wrapped in the past,
But memories will forever last,
But love and understanding it can be,
Nothing in the world is free.
If you allow it to control
It will always has a hold
No peace of mind, is a dreadful thing,
The basic needs of life is love
On that you build, far and above
Take heart and mind, contentment and peace
Japan you will find it will be your release.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

History of the former Dutch East Indies.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about the former Dutch East Indies (now called Indonesia) since my book came out "I Thought You Should Know", which I wrote under my maiden name, Tetske T. van der Wal,and was published in 2010.At the time when I was working on my book,another author by the name of Richard Kandler was working on his book across the pond in England.His book (The Prisoners List) happen to come out  the same date my book was published., Nov. 8, 2010. It was such a coincidence. His story is about the Burma Rail Road Track, about the Japanese POW's. Richards father and my father were both prisoners of the Japanese.They happened to be in the same prison camps during World War 2. His father survived the horrors the Japanese inflicted on the POW's, he secretly kept a list of all the men who died, and how they died.This list with all the names he managed to hide from the Japanese. If the Japanese had found it he would have surely been killed. Richards father was from England, and my father was from The Netherlands. My father and my mother lived in The Dutch Indies on  the island of Java when World War 2 broke out.My mother and I, her sister and two children were put behind barbwire and high fences and nearly starved to death." Rising from the Shadow of the Sun" written by Ronny Herman de Jong is another story of Love, Survival and Joy.This book came on the market in 2011.It is an inspiring story about the human spirit and resiliency that can be found in families and even little girls.Her story is also about a Dutch mother and daughter, the agonizing, but eventually triumphant journey from the horrors of life in a WW 11 Japanese prison camp in the 1940s to peace and prosperity in the United States in the 21 st century.It's a story which brings clear understanding of the physical and psychological suffering that interned women endured during the Japanese occupation.It reveals human greatness and depravity through the eyes of a little girl and courageous mother.It's a testimony to the abiding strength of family and love.

I like to write about the former Dutch Colony, the country where I was born.About the Dutch men and women the "Colonials" who lived and worked there so hard their whole life in a total different environment then they were used to in The Netherlands. I like to write about the extremely pain-full period in the history of the state The Netherlands. I like to write about how pain full it was for these people to be forced to leave this beautiful country, they loved so much, after they thought the war was over, thinking that they were freed from the tyrant the Japanese, thinking that they could  go back to their homes and businesses and start rebuilding, which was not to be.After the occupancy of the Japanese we found our selves in the middle of a new war,"The Bersiap".
It was a very dangerous time, many Dutch who had so desperately survived the Japanese prison camps lost their lives. The ones who survived had to leave this beautiful land, their home land and lost everything they had worked so hard for all their lives.

The former Dutch Indies is unbelievable large, it measures about 2000 by 6000 km. At the time it had an habitat of circa 70 million people.There were only about 300.000 Dutch working at the infrastructure of these enormous islands.
For more then 300 years the Dutch Indies was a Colony of The Netherlands. It was looked upon as a part of Holland by most of the Dutch men and women.
Before World War 2 , the children in Holland had geography lessons of the Dutch East Indies,while 18.000 km apart, the children from Indonesia learned about all the provinces of Holland.
This shows the size of the Dutch-Indies Colonies on the map of Europe.

It was an enormous task to build the infrastructure in this enormous Colony. The medical service alone was an unbelievable undertaking.Millions of people were vaccinated against Malaria, Plague, Cholera, Typhoid, Leprosy, Small-pocks,and Tuberculosis.
Roads, railroad tracks, bridges, plantations, telephone and telegraph cables were being build. Schools were build and University's. In The Netherlands in college and at the university the native language of Dutch-Indies was taught.
Of all the many European countries who had colonies, The Netherlands was the most advanced.
The only mistake the Dutch made was that they hardly ever put Indonesians in higher functions.This bred discontent and hatred to the educated Indonesians.

The years around 1900 marked the heyday of Dutch Colonial rule in the Dutch East Indies (now called Indonesia). Territories outside Java were brought under Dutch rule and the economy was thoroughly modernized. Thought was also given to the future of the indigenous population and its impact on the relations between the Dutch and the native people.
Of course the Dutch people and The Netherlands were responsible for everything which happened in the Dutch Indies.Not only for all the good, but also for all the bad.Eduard Douwes Dekker wrote a masterpiece about the  Dutch Indies authority, about the so called abuse the "Colonials" inflicted on the natives.Yes these things happened. But please read also about the history in The Netherlands during that same time.Read about what happened in the mines and factories including child-labor and the unbelievable bad labor agreements.Remember that only in the 20s century the law was changed that not only the master was always right if there was a dispute between worker and master.
Critique over that period and the social relationships should be compared to what happens than and what is happening present-day in Indonesia.The Colonials had trouble with the people in Atjeh, but let me tell you, that the present government still have trouble with the people in Atjeh.
And the few people who ever returned to The Netherlands,those who had been estate owners and were able to live a luxuries retirement, were given the name of "plunderer" , they were men and women, who had earned this money with hard work under the most difficult circumstances, building a successful concern.These were the same as the men and women in The Netherlands who had build up a successful business.No better or worse . They were" the same engines of the future", of whom we were so proud of. Read the history.

My mother and her sister remembered oh so well how they were treated by their employer in the 1900.when they still lived in The Netherlands.
My mothers sister had been the lucky one. She was taken in by the family Lucas Bols in Amsterdam. They treated her like she was one of their own. My mother was not so lucky. She was only 12 years old when she was employed by this very rich Dutch family. She had to scrub floors on her hands and knees day in and day out ,until her little hands were bleeding. She had a very small little room with only a bed to sleep in. In the winter she nearly froze to death. She was treated very badly by the woman in the house. They made my mother feel like she was a nobody. She was a little girl and only 12 years old.Talking about good and bad people, they are every where. They existed under the Colonials in the Dutch Indies and they existed in The Netherlands.If one likes to criticize  the Dutch Indies Colonials, then please criticize the ones in The Netherlands as well.
My mother's sister on the left with the baboes.(baboe is a native servant or nurse)
My mothers friend. She has never seen her again.
My cousin Fop with the baboe, Toby's brother.
That's me on the left, with all the boys from the neighborhood.Soon we all would be separated and never see each other again. I wonder what happened to all these young boys.A war is a terrible thing.
My mom at the flower market in Bandoeng. 1939.

We have been very hurt and damaged by being accused with the horror of the political actions which took place after world war 2 in the Dutch Indies.
We had nothing to do with that. It was The Netherlands who declared war to Japan after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor; it was The Netherlands who signed the peace treaty with Japan; it was The Netherlands who conducted the political actions after the war and at the end of four years of horror and sending thousands of young soldiers, who just celebrated their freedom from the Nazi's, back into another war against the nationalists, finally agreed to handover independence to the government of Soekarno.
 We were the passive victims from these unfortunate developments. Taken by surprise by the Japanese, The Netherlands forced us to stay, we were not allowed to leave The Dutch Indies and had to try to destroy as many installations as we could before we were run over by the Japanese.Men were taken prisoners of war and many were taken to countries like Burma and Thailand and Japan ,treated like convicts to do slave work under the most horrible conditions, like working to lay a rail road track through the jungles of Burma and Thailand, working in mines almost day and night.A period of mass destruction of people, property and culture came to an end.Many are the stories of cruelty,horror, denial of medicine, starvation and violations of human rights. Japan inflicted terror, fear and destruction upon Asian people including the Dutch in the East Indies.Many thousands and thousands did not survive due to starvation, dehydration, etc, etc.
My mom in 1939, a very happy smiling woman.
My mom,after three and halve years in Japanese captivity. This picture was taken in 1946 just before we were repatriated to the Netherlands. She looks so sad and scared.

Women and children were locked up in camps with hardly any medical care and hardly anything to eat. The Red Cross send food parcels, but these were stolen by the Japanese. Dying from starvation was happening every day. Daily punishments and individual barbaric collectively punishments by the Japanese happened daily.
It's therefor so very sad when we get attacked by people who seem not to know a thing about what happened in the far Dutch Indies.
One person who we know very well attacked me once and said some very nasty things to me.It's a lack of his knowledge, but I tell you it's hard to swallow.
These are the people who will never have the guts to leave their homeland, unless; as is the case with this person I am talking about ,who we did sponsor for five years.
I can very much relate with the Dutch "Colonials" , my father and my mother and my mothers sister and her husband.
My husband and I went to Jamaica and build up a business. That was not easy. We arrived in this country as a total outsider, and we were "white". Most employee's we hired could hardly read nor write. We were always called whitey, although at one time my husband Ruud got a promotion and was called brown boy.He gets very easily a tan and at the time he had curly hair.We worked very hard, seven days a week. In the beginning it was very hard to educate your employees about being on time to arrive at work. It was very frustrating, because they would say: "don't worry boss, soon come". You never knew if they meant this X-Mas or next X-mas.We even named our glass bottom boat "Soon come" .After a while they got the picture and we build up a very good relation ship with most of them. When we left Jamaica many thanked us for what we had taught them.I can really say that I compare this with the Dutch Indies.We had a young lady come to our house every day and clean and cooked for us, we had a nice man who did the garden for us and came in every day.My husband and I were every day at work from seven thirty in the morning until seven at night. My mother always talked about the good things from Indonesia, and how sad she and her sister were when they had to say goodbye to their employees, and how the so called( "coolies and maids" which this same person called them), accused us of mistreating them, were crying and begging my mom to take them with them.We found out that teaching rules and regulations to the natives of Jamaica was not always easy, there were always rebellions amongst them, and to be honest with you, we lost our temper many times, and were not sure if we could take it any longer. We stayed and lived in Jamaica for 20 years and made many friends, like my mom and her sister made many friends in Indonesia. Many of them who suffered like us during the occupancy of the Japanese.
It's very sad that the Japanese invaded the Dutch Indies with false promises. Letting the Indonesian people believe that they were freeing them from the White (Blanda's).

When the war finally was over and we were freed from the Japanese, Soekarno declared the Dutch Indies independent.This did not sit right with the Dutch government, who believed that Indonesia still was their Colony, as it was before the war and had been for more than 300 years. The Netherlands send 120,000 compulsory military,20,000 volunteers, and 40,000 men from the KNIL(Indonesian military) to restore order, and protect the Dutch people who had just been freed from the Japanese prison camps, from the rebels who were fighting for Soekarno. These rebels were mostly young boys who were taught for three and a half years during the Japanese occupancy, to hate every body who was white and was not from Asia.These rebels were called rampokkers, pemoeda's or peloppers.The military who were send to fight these rebels were young soldiers from The Netherlands, and had just been freed from the German occupancy and most of them had never traveled as far as Zandvoort or Amsterdam.The Dutch Indies was a tremendous culture shock to them.The KNIL military who survived the Japanese prison camps were thrown into this new war.Most of them were still very weak. It was a chaotic time, "the Bersiap" time, in which many Dutch men, women and children were brutally murdered.Horrible scenes during the "Bersiap" period. Too ghastly too describe.
The groups of Dutch boys who The Netherlands had send to restore order in the Dutch Indies, safe guard the Dutch people and bring back the production of the concerns. The Netherlands needed the income from the Dutch Indies badly. But the situation became difficult and many Dutch and those with mixed blood had to leave the Dutch Indies forever.They had to leave the land they so very much loved, and when they arrived in The Netherlands they received no help, the government abandoned them.
All they had worked for and what they had accomplished in the "Gordel van Smaragd" and from which the Indonesian people then and now and in the future still profit from.The agriculture (sawa's) the infrastructure of harbors, roads, railway systems, bridges etc, etc. These were unbelievable samples of skills from Dutch engineers, which are still seen today.
Arrival of a train in Bandoeng.
Indies Military on bicycles.

Signing of the independence of Indonesia  in 1949. In 2005 The Netherlands acknowledged the date,August 15, 1945, when Soekarno had declared Indonesia independence.

The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty provided the base to end the Pacific War legally. However it did not settle the claims of the individual victims as they were denied their claims. However this should not mean that Japan does not have a moral obligation, in particular since it has become apparent that the Japanese Military violated the Human Rights in the occupied territories in particular the Dutch East Indies.

It is sad that the Dutch government has never paid the salaries from the officials in government services from the Dutch Indies ,and never paid the military after the war was over. My mother never received a penny from her husbands salary, he fought and died for his country. The Netherlands is the only country who never paid any compensation to the  Dutch people who worked and lived in the Dutch Indies and the Indies-Dutch people who had lost all their possessions, due to the war and the "Bersiap" period after the war.The Netherlands is the only country that has done wrong to their citizens. All other allied countries did compensate their citizens. This is an international dishonor.I am a Canadian now, and be ashamed to tell that I once was Dutch. I am however proud that I was born in Indonesia, the land my mother and father came to love.

We had just arrived in The Netherlands,and my mother saw her sister and children again, for the first time. They had lost each other, when they were separated in Moentilan and were taken to other camps by the Japanese. My mother always told me that I took the picture, that's why I am not in it. From the top my mothers sister Eke, in the middle my uncle who is married to my aunt below, they are the only once still alive today, and live in Kolhorn, on the right my mom, still looking very pale and thin, the two children are my cousins Toby and Fop, we grew up together in Moentilan in Japanese prison camp.The clothes we wear are the clothes we got in Ataka on our way back from Indonesia. My cousin Fop barely survived the prison camp.As of today he will not talk about that time.

Irrevocable you recognize in a wink of an eye someone hanging  on a tree. Arms tied together on a piece of rope, while a few men are working on her with a whip. Those are things, you will never forget.The screams of agony and pain of that human being will forever be engraved in your brain.Those are things which determine how you look at the rest of your life at the world.
Me and my cousin from Kolhorn, Gerrit. It was my first birthday in The Netherlands and I got a kick scooter.I thought I was in Heaven.It was June 1946.